Go North East

The Learning Centre at Stanley opened on Learning at Work Day in 2010 after the company transformed a former tyre store at the depot to house the Unite the union led learning project ‘Go-Learn’. The current project has been running for around 18 months with Lynn Doolan as lead Union Learning Rep at the Stanley site. Although Stanley is the main focus of activity as it has the learning centre, there are active ULRs in a further six depots across the region: Chester-le-Street, Deptford, Washington, Gateshead, Winlaton and Percy Main to help open up learning opportunities to and engage as many of the 250 staff as possible.

Most of the learning activity has so far centred around Skills for life, various IT courses and also British Sign Language, and the learners are doing extremely well.  As the project has gained momentum and the learner numbers have increased Lynn – an active ULR for almost 5 years – and the rest of the ULR team have been looking for a resource to help them perform their role more effectively and offer the best service to the learners. So, when they came across the unionlearn Climbing Frame they began to use it and are thoroughly enjoying getting familiar with all it has to offer – for both learners and ULRs.

Despite being relatively new users Go Learn can already see the benefits of the Climbing Frame as a tool which is updated regularly and managed really well. Lynn said, “The Climbing Frame is an excellent resource for us and the learners and is multi-purpose: helping prompt ULRs on any action points, reviewing learning, offering advice and most importantly it can, and will, evolve with the project and the learners. Given Go North East’s operating area over seven sites it also ticks the box for us as a mobile tool and all of the information is transferable, even where there aren’t dedicates learning centres. It’s great!”

Another unexpected advantage of the Climbing Frame they have found at Go Learn is that it is an efficient and easy way to store and collate information, so has therefore been very helpful when ULRs like Lynn are working their way towards a Level 3 IAG qualification – and will be a fantastic resource and record of learner journeys when the project goes for the matrix Standard, the national quality award for providing expert level information advice and guidance in learning.

Martin Wright, Unite Senior Learning Organiser said: “The Go Learn project is going from strength to strength and any kind of resource that helps to build on the excellent work that the ULRs and learners do here is a very welcome addition to the fold. The resources that the Climbing Frame provides are practical and relevant to ULRs and the learners registered onto it – offering clear direction and support for its users.”



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